Telic vs Atelic Activities: A Response to Schopenhauer’s Pessimism

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote extensively on – what he believed to be – the intrinsic misery of existence. Even if you don’t end up agreeing with Schopenhauer’s pessimistic worldview, reading some of his writings on the human condition is still a reliable way to dampen your mood. As I will elaborate in this…

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The Benefits of a Daily Practice of Mindfulness Meditation

What is that one thing that is typical in all of us these days? What is it that we all go through on a daily basis? Yes, it is stress. Our life is governed by the stress we experience and things we worry about. Stress and worry are constants in our daily routine. We stress…

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The Earliest Buddhist Teaching on Living in the Present Moment

Our Appointment With Life: Discourse on Living Happily in the Present Moment is a translation of, and commentary on, the Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone by Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. This sutra – or basic text of Buddhist scripture – is the earliest teaching of the Buddha on how…

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Ram Dass on the Paradox of Suffering

The spiritual teacher Ram Dass often examines human suffering in his many lectures and writings, since it concerns us all. As the First Noble Truth of Buddhism says, “life is dukkha” (a Pali term commonly translated as “suffering” or “unsatisfactoriness”, although its meaning is quite varied, since impermanence is also dukkha). It may seem like…

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A Buddhist Perspective on Gossiping

“Gossip is what no one claims to like, but everybody enjoys.” – Joseph Conrad The Noble Eightfold Path is traditionally considered to be the essence of Buddhist practice, and it is intended to help people escape the unease and unsatisfactoriness which is intrinsic to the human condition. The First Noble Truth in Buddhism (of which…

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